As crime and violence continue to plague Chicago under Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot, her city is about to experience a huge loss — and Florida’s GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis is the big winner.
Ken Griffin, Chicago’s richest man, has told employees he is relocating his $22 billion company, Citadel Securities, to Miami, in part because of the crime situation.
Griffin informed his employees of the move in a letter and while not specifically blaming crime, his top officials told reporters crime was one of the main factors for the move, according to the Washington Examiner.
“If people aren’t safe here, they’re not going to live here,” he said in a recent interview.
“I’ve had multiple colleagues mugged at gunpoint. I’ve had a colleague stabbed on the way to work, countless issues of burglary. I mean, that’s a really difficult backdrop with which to draw talent to your city from,” he told the Wall Street Journal.
Griffin and his company will move to Florida after more than 30 years in Illinois.
“Miami is a vibrant, growing metropolis that embodies the American dream,” Griffen said of the city, which is overseen by a Republican mayor and descendant of Cuba, Frances Suarez.
“I am excited to have recently moved to Miami with my family, and look forward to rapidly expanding Citadel in a city so rich in diversity and abounding with energy,” Griffin added.
“I’ve had multiple colleagues mugged at gunpoint. I’ve had a colleague stabbed on the way to work. Countless issues of burglary. I mean, that’s a really difficult backdrop with which to draw talent to your city from.”
— Josh Kraushaar
It stings either way for Illinois, which has benefited from Griffin’s philanthropy to the tune of $600 million — including putting his money where his mouth is and funding $35 million in crime-fighting technology and education programs. Griffin’s exit to Florida (his home state) also follows news that Caterpillar and Boeing companies are moving their HQs out of Illinois, too.
Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot were quick to remind that companies are still moving into Illinois. Kellogg Co., for example, announced earlier this week it’s opening its HQ here.
The big question for Playbook readers: Will Griffin still be engaged in Illinois politics? It will depend on the primary, a person told Playbook.
As the Tribune points out in its thorough report: “Since 2002, Illinois State Board of Elections records show, Griffin has contributed $179 million to state and local candidates, mainly Republicans, and organizations.